From multi-tasking loungewear to the perfect tee, the new John Lewis & Partners womenswear range celebrates the essentials
Hands up if, when it comes to getting dressed, you’re enjoying a new-found affection for your wardrobe staples. Are you reaching for that timeless T-shirt or your comfiest jeans on repeat? Our collective mindset right now is to strip back to the essentials – to those easy pieces that always make you feel good – and John Lewis’ womenswear collection does just that, and at a price you’ll love.
‘For this season and beyond, we’ve put the emphasis on beautifully-made wardrobe foundations that reflect the world we’re living in now,’ says Jo Bennett, Partner & Head of Buying, of the timeless Perfect Basic Tee (£7) and hard-working Utility Shacket (£45, launching soon). 'And we’ve also re-evaluated our price points. Every item is very competitive, whether it’s versatile loungewear or an uplifting dress, and in the context of these staples working together with an existing wardrobe, it offers extremely good value.’
“For this season and beyond, we’ve put the emphasis on beautifully-made wardrobe foundations that reflect the world we’re living in now”
What that means is a capsule of reliable tees, classic shirts and quality transeasonal pieces (like a wonderfully hard-working shacket) that not only look good, but promise to make you feel good too. Close attention to great fit was the design team’s priority, and can be found in contemporary pieces like the Easy Fit Jeans, a straight leg style with a deep, tummy-holding waistband, which are just £35. And for those who prefer a trouser that’s not a jean, there’s the effortless Girlfriend Chinos (£25), made from responsibly sourced cotton and sculpted into a neat, slim fit.
“I truly believe that all styles, ages and body shapes can benefit from a cotton shirt and a classic casual shoe”
Verity Parker, stylist and associate fashion director of Sunday Times Style magazine, who styled the images shown here, believes that a great basic ‘can come in many forms, whether it’s a T-shirt, a cashmere jumper, a pair of jeans or even a coat. Foundation pieces will vary from person to person and their own style, but I truly believe that all styles, ages and body shapes can benefit from a cotton shirt and a classic casual shoe, like a leather trainer or ballerina pump.’
“Buy well-made, good-quality, well-fitting pieces that you know you will wear a lot – then repeat buy those pieces in various colours or styles”
The line-up in John Lewis’ collection of modern essentials are brilliantly interchangeable: the boatneck Breton top looks as natural tucked into white jeans as with jersey jogging bottoms; ditto the crewneck sweater, which could be layered under a trench coat or sported with loungewear. And it’s not all about neutrals: the Organic Cotton Crew T-shirt comes in shades of bright blue and light pink, while the Watercolour Floral Print Skirt (coming soon) is all that’s needed to liven up a denim jacket this spring.
That the range offers great value is undoubtable, but it’s important to note the quality hasn’t been compromised: many of the pieces are made from organic cotton and boast the craftsmanship that John Lewis is renowned for. Even fashion director Verity, who could be tempted into the whims of the catwalk trends that are paraded every season, says: ‘Buy well-made, good-quality, well-fitting pieces that you know you will wear a lot – then repeat buy those pieces in various colours or styles.’
Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to identify where the gaps in your wardrobe are, so take advantage of a little (always non-judgemental, of course) help from a professional. A virtual style consultation with one of our personal stylists will leave you empowered to create a versatile wardrobe that reflects your style – whatever it is you’re doing. And at prices like these, what’s holding you back?